Words of Encouragement and Suggestions to take into the weekend

benchdg

First of all, you’re welcome.  Because of the title of my post some of you just found out it’s Friday.  Let me make very clear that I am neither a medical nor mental health professional.  All I offer you is my opinion based on my personal experience, some of which has ended up in success, while the other in failure. Since I am a happy, and as far as I know, healthy person, and someone without the advantage of significant financial resources, beyond the fact that I have some luck, but even more importantly in my eyes some blessings from above, I feel compelled to project some good feelings onto those who need it most and to those who just like it as well.

Today one of my brothers asked me what do I think of things as they stand today.  I won’t recap the entire conversation but I will share the most positive elements of my current outlook that I shared in our talk.  But first I want to make a point that I feel to be very critical in how we address things moving forward. If the thoughts that I share help someone who has lost someone during this challenging time, I will be enormously pleased to know that. However, I don’t expect it either.  Because when people grieve, platitudes and positive approaches do not hurt, and sometimes help a little bit with the initial sting, but ultimately they do not fix the fact that you are mourning a loved one.  Your remaining loved ones, faith if you are so inclined, and most of all time are some of the only cures for the emotional pain of the loss that you feel. I recognize that and encourage those who are not going through that to do so as well, because in doing so and realizing the responsibility you have to support those who need you the most you not only help them, but you will very likely help yourself as well.

So while I don’t think self indulgence will help anyone, self introspection can be of great benefit.  When you turn on the TV and watch the news, regardless of where you stand politically, ask yourself if the means by which you are acquiring information is helping you or hurting you.  I am not going to give my opinion as to the quality or validity of the sources you choose, but I will share my opinion as to the amount of time I am spending on it and how that is impacting my self perceived mental health.

When I say self perceived mental health, the point I am making is, to be blunt, how I feel.  And while like anyone else living through this time I have my ups and downs, what I have been doing seems to be working for me.  So if I can help anyone out there by sharing some of my methods and attitudes, I am happy to do so.  When it comes to getting your information, ask yourself the following question, and be honest with yourself when answering? Is all the news you are watching helping you? Is it making practical issues easier?  Is it making you feel better?  Only you can really know the truth, but it is my belief that no matter how much you want to watch the news, at some point you need to make a point of turning it off. Find something more relaxing, or fulfilling, or just plain fun?  No one has any right to judge what you do with your time, but I urge you to make sure your time spent is doing something to either help your situation or make you feel better.  If it is not doing one or the other, unless you are someone whose daily job or purpose is helping others, you need to reassess how you spend your time.

Try not to judge.  These days everyone is an expert and everyone is right.  Naturally that was sarcasm, but it’s important to remember that so many people out there think that they are, that unless you moderate your exposure, it can make you crazy.  Limit your circle of influence and spend your energies wisely.  Everyone can find someone who angers them or frustrates them. It doesn’t matter if it is someone famous or someone personal to your life.  You do not have the luxury of spending too much of your energies on those negative emotions.  You help no one, least of all yourself.

And lastly, as it is Friday, I personally once again look forward to that wonderful day known as Shabbat. And as I have before, I push the idea of it more than the specifics.  Everyone should make their own choices as to what they do to relax, but I can tell you that having a 25 hour period each week in which I shut down so much of what goes on around me has been an integral part of what has made this significantly easier for me.  That and the fact that taking time to think allows you to focus on the things you have to be grateful for, which for me is good health, people that care about me, a roof over my head, and food to eat.   Whatever it is that brings you joy, focus on it, appreciate it, and let it fuel your days ahead.

Shabbat Shalom

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